How frustrating - you’ve cut down on your snacks, you're walking to work and have even joined the best outdoor fitness company in Northampton (that’s us by the way! 😀) yet still you’re not losing the weight you hoped you would. Why not?
There could be LOTS of reasons why your weight loss plans aren’t going as well as you hoped ranging from broken scales to sleep-eating! But if your weight loss has plateaued or you've hit a snag, it's time to reassess. Check out our 7 most common reasons why you're not losing the weight you want...
1. Are you eating enough protein?
Don’t just think of protein as meat and an after workout recovery meal one used by body builders. Protein comes in many different shapes and sizes, and it’s important when reducing your daily calorie intake to make sure around 25% of what you eat is protein. You can add this easily by including things like eggs, Greek yoghurt, chicken, cottage cheese, milk and broccoli for example.
Studies show that eating protein can also help you lose weight and belly fat while increasing your muscle mass and strength, so it's definitely something to look at.
2. Are you drinking enough water?
The human body consists of 50-65% water and not only will drinking more of it help you feel more full and stop you from snacking, studies suggest that drinking water also increases your bodies metabolism and therefore the amount of calories you burn when you exercise.
So the tip here is to stay hydrated and fend off those hunger pangs that result in snacking and exercise Next time you start to feel hungry before meal time try drinking a large glass of water and wait 15 minutes before reaching for the biscuit tin......
3. Are you sleeping enough?
You might think that you can cope with just a few hours sleep a night but your body can’t and a lack of sleep has been shown to be a contributory factor to obesity.
A lack of sleep alters the hormones that manage your hunger and can lead to snacking or unhealthy choices.
4. Portion sizes
This is huge (literally) and one of the main causes of weight gain. Even if you’re eating healthy foods, piling too much on your plate can seriously affect your weight loss. It’s also worth being aware that although most fruit is good for you and comes packed with some fantastic nutrients, some also have a lot of sugar (fructose). Over eating on fruits might mean you’re sneaking in more carbs, sugars and calories than you thought you were.
5. Posh coffee!
Have you noticed your coffee intake has crept over over the last few years, are you partial to a latte or two, or three....? You might be surprised to hear that a Starbucks regular latte contains 190 calories, similar to a pint of lager. Two or three of these a day and before you know it you have drunk half of your daily calorie intake without eating a thing.....
Add to this the fact that coffees might be stopping you from sleeping well, drinking too many coffee's a day can be a recipe for weight loss disaster!
6. Simply not eating enough!
To lose weight, we need to cut calories or increase calorie burn, or both. However, if you reduce your calorie intake too much you can trigger the opposite reaction to what you want.
Your body has a built in safety system designed to protect you and keep you alive. If it notices that you aren’t eating enough food, it will think that you are at risk of starving and that food is at a shortage. In order to keep you operating for longer, it will naturally slow down your metabolism and other processes such as your thyroid hormone, sex hormone (and even cause you stress). The result of this is that you will burn less calories than you normally would and therefore not loose the weight you are hoping to.
Aim for cutting no more than 500 calories a day from your daily intake. 500 a day is 3,500 calories a week which is roughly what is needed to burn off one pound in body fat. Any more than this and you could cause yourself more issues than you solve
7. Are you exercising hard enough? 😀
If your exercise consists of a gentle walk with a friend and at a pace where you can chat without being out of breath, this will not be enough to burn off fat. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is renowned for being successful due to the short period of time it takes and the high intensity of effort required.
Don’t kid yourself though. If you are attending an hours Get Fit Today session, regardless of the ability group you should be out of breath. If you’re not, then you need to start thinking about increasing your efforts in the session so you are able to complete everything the instructor asks and if you can and you’re still not out of breath, it’s definitely time to consider moving up an ability group
The key is to put 100% effort in to your exercise, don't just think that being a member of a gym or fitness group, that this alone will cause the lbs to fall off, you do need to do the exercises too. However, the good news is that if you make some healthy food choices and workout like a champion you will absolutely loose the weight you want, in the right areas and in a safe, manageable and long-term way. It takes time though, stick at it - you're doing well!
So there you have it, I bet at least one of these 7 reasons will seem familiar to you! If it is, don’t despair, you CAN do it. Losing weight effectively is not easy and can’t be done quickly. Find something that works for you (like Get Fit Today) and stick to it. Commit yourself for 6 months and try to do atleast 2 sessions a week and put in 100% effort every time.
To learn more about nutrition and healthy eating & cooking, check out the other nutrition blogs on our website or speak to an instructor. We will be running a transformation challenge fairly soon, so keep an eye out for news on that.
If you're reading this and think that now is the time for you to try out a FREE Get Fit Today beginner session, then click this link to register and we will be in touch.
Finally, if you have ever wondered about the benefits of exercise and whether it really works, this is a really interesting read - 60 Benefits of Exercise, give it a try!